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4 Things Online Publishers Need to Know to Avoid Legal Trouble

Online publishing has made it so easy for anyone to express his thoughts and opinions online, as well as share experiences and expertise. With online publishing being relatively new, some people who are only starting in the niche may not be aware that there are laws that do apply online.

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Print publications have traditionally been regulated by the government, but depending on where you are based, online publishers may get into legal trouble on various counts. Lawyer Daniel Perlman advises that online publishers should know the specific laws governing online publications in your particular area, but in general, here are things you need to know to avoid legal trouble.

Copyright legal issues

Copyright laws have been set in place to protect material created by entities. This includes written work, images, video, and audio. Plagiarism falls under copyright laws in that if you use another person’s blog post, for example, and claim it as your own, you are held liable.

There are different copyright licenses, ranging from you having to ask permission from the owner before you can use his material to using material without permission as long as you link to the source.

Before you use any images, videos, etc., make sure you know their copyright license.

Protip: Always go for Creative Commons license or royalty-free license.

Also read: The 3 Most Common Copyright Mistakes Bloggers Make

Trademark legal issues

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Isn’t trademark the same as copyright? Nope!

Trademarks are the realm of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which protects brands, names, and logos from being used by unauthorized entities. Once you have registered your trademark, you can sue others who use it. The reverse applies. If you use someone’s trademarked name/logo/etc., then you will be held liable.

The important thing to remember about trademarks to avoid legal trouble is that you should not use trademarked brand names or logos to mislead readers into thinking you are affiliated with that particular brand. Otherwise, if you’re just using the brand as part of your opinion piece, for example, that should be okay.

Privacy legal issues

Privacy is one of the most controversial issues these days, and as an online publisher, you have the legal obligation to protect your readers’ privacy. One of the first things you should do is write up a privacy policy which will let your readers know exactly how you deal with their data.

Basically, if you collect any data – email addresses for newsletters, for example – make sure that you have a policy set in place that will protect that and that you let your readers know.

Tortious interference issues

Tortious interference sounds so legally scary, doesn’t it? It is defined as:

encouraging a breach, infringing on another’s agreement, interfering with contract, interfering with contractual commitments, interfering with contractual obligation, interfering with contractual rights, intermeddling, intermeddling with business activities, obstruction, work against anothers contractual relationship, wrongful interference with business relationships, wrongful interference with contractual relationships

In short, tortious interference means that, because of your blog post, you hamper the ability of another party to do business, or if you encourage someone to break a contract.

This can easily happen when you’ve been ripped off by a seller online, for example, and you write about it. If your post is a call to arms to your readers to boycott the seller, the seller might have a legal case against you.

What you can do to avoid falling into this trap: word your post very carefully so as to avoid coming across as actively inciting readers not to patronize an establishment.

For example, instead of saying “Don’t ever buy from this deals site because they sell fake products!”, say, “I wish I hadn’t bought from this deals site because it seems that the product I receive is not genuine.”

Knowing the above can save you from legal trouble in the future, so make sure that you take them in consideration as you write your next post.

The post 4 Things Online Publishers Need to Know to Avoid Legal Trouble appeared first on The Blog Herald.

Categories: Blogging News

Are You Managing Your Social Media Presence Properly?

Social media is an excellent tool for various purposes. Online marketers extend their reach, and engage their followers to achieve their goals. Bloggers use it to get more traffic and network with other people. For others, social media is merely a venue to share what they find interesting, voice out their thoughts and opinions, and engage in discussion with others.

social media presence
For the latter group, there is the danger of unwittingly “using” social media in a way that adversely affects their image. For anyone who wants to advance in their career, no matter in what sector, one’s social media presence should be managed properly. Call it self-censorship if you may, but we’ve all heard the stupid horror stories of employees calling in sick and posting photos of themselves partying at a beach on Facebook. Of course, it’s only a matter of time when HR finds out. Read More

Categories: Social Media

Life in the Cloud: How a Content Delivery Network Can Make a Big Difference

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For those of us playing buzzword bingo at home, the word cloud might as well be the free space in the middle. Everything seems to be “in the cloud” today, but what does that mean exactly?

Cloud-based services might be the buzzworthy term of the year, but that doesn’t subtract from how useful and important they are. For example, take a cloud-based content delivery network (CDN). These amazing services help to serve content from a wide range of sites to people all around the world at breakneck speeds.

So what is a Content Delivery Network?

In its simplest form, a CDN is a service that uses multiple servers in a variety of geographical locations around the nation or world to improve the speed and quality of streaming content. In other words, they are servers that make it so that everyone gets the same speed and quality of download.

Files are stored on servers that are spread out over a given area so when a user connects to the site, he or she receives their content from the closest server. The result of this can be speeds that are significantly improved in regard to load time.

CDN

What Does Speed Mean for Your Site?

Speed is very important when it comes to a webpage. First, users will only wait so long for a page to load before giving up and moving on to the next site. A wait time of just 400 milliseconds can mean the difference between someone staying on your site or going back to the search results and looking for something else. A page load time of 10 seconds sees a nearly 40% page abandonment, no matter what the content on the page is.

This means that all that awesome content you have on your site to attract readers and up your page views can ultimately drag your load times down and cause people to go running from your site. Many sites host their images and other media files on the same server as the site itself, which, over time as traffic increases, can slow load times to a standstill and kill off possible visits and business.

The second way speed is important for your site is Google. Most web search traffic comes from this search giant, and Google only likes to show the most relevant results possible. This means that part of Google’s search algorithm includes site speed. The faster your site is, the better it will show up in search results.

Speed is one of the most important aspects of running a website, and a CDN works to help you with that exact issue, along with a few others you didn’t even know you needed.

How to Determine When it’s Time to Use a CDN for your WordPress Blog

Different Options in CDNs

An example of a content delivery network aimed at website owners and operators is KeyCDN. KeyCDN uses cloud-based servers to position content around the world to make it faster and more accessible to a wider audience, ultimately helping your content get seen by more people.

As quoted from KeyCDN’s site:

KeyCDN is a powerful and easy to use Content Delivery Network (CDN) made to satisfy the needs of a website owner. A Content Delivery Network (or Content Distribution Network) is a system of strategically positioned servers around the globe. These servers maintain and accelerate your content. The main goals of a CDN are about speed, scalability and high-availability. A request from a user will always be routed to the nearest point of presence (POP).”

In short, they make it so your content is more reliable and faster to load and download.

Is a CDN Right For You?

If your site has steady traffic and a growing following, or if you host a large number of media files, then a CDN is definitely right for you. Smaller blogs and personal sites may be fine with slower loading content and download links that can go down with the site, but bigger sites with products that are sold as downloads need a CDN to not only give them the speed they need, but to give security and better uptime for download links and media files that are accessed outside of the main site itself.

As well as speed and security, you get the ability to easily move your site from one service to another, and to grow the storage and location of your media without altering your website hosting itself.

Basically, if you’re reading this, a CDN is probably a good fit for you and your site. If you’re interested in learning more, checkout industry leaders like KeyCDN for more information on what content delivery networks are all about.

8 Ways to Make Your Website Faster

The post Life in the Cloud: How a Content Delivery Network Can Make a Big Difference appeared first on The Blog Herald.

Categories: Blogging News

How to Write a Post That Goes Viral

Do you want your blog content to go viral? Sure you do. Accumulating more readers, views, and shares is the ultimate goal of a blogger, after all. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your content will spread – on a massive scale or just in general – but there are steps you can take to boost your odds.

First of all, if you’re trying to reach lots of eyeballs through spammy or dubious methods, stop. As a blogger, you need to be dedicated to creating booming content, stuff that your particular audience will love and be inspired to share. Yes, slapdash content can work to gather initial views, but they do no favors for overall shareability.

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Headlines

Clickbait and a decent headline are not one in the same. In fact, giving your well-written articles catchy yet appropriate headlines is of the utmost importance when trying to spread interest. The headline is the first thing people see, and it needs to entice them to actually read further. Here are some qualities of a winning title:

  • Specific – hook an audience by telling them what to expect in the content of your article. Don’t be vague.
  • Informative – tell the audience what they can take away from reading your post.
  • Controversial – pique interest by tapping into controversy in your title. Get peoples’ hearts involved.
  • Unique – give your audience something they’ve never seen before.

Follow these molds in order to craft an intriguing lock-you-in headline. Then, once you’ve written one, send it through an editing process – get others to look it over and provide input, or even test it out on Twitter – to make it the best it can be. A good headline goes a long way, so you want it to be perfect.

Audience Familiarity

You need to know your audience. It’s the audience that needs to be inspired to share the article, so knowing what they like is pretty important. Get as specific as possible when targeting your audience, and do research or look at popularity trends to find out what they want. Do they want to learn more about ADHD in children? Write up an informative piece about it, or even share a video on the topic. Do they want to save money in order to pay off college loan debt? They’ll probably appreciate a tell-all piece about how to get the most out of selling off your old electronics. It’s all about understanding what inspires and motivates your audience.

Not only should you discover what content they want to read, but you should also know what formatting works best and what other aspects appeal to them. Do they like pictures? Lists? First person? Formal tone? Whatever they like, be prepared to deliver.

Overall Topic

Once you know what your audience wants, you need to write compelling, interesting and/or inspiring content that they’ll want to share. Neetzan Zimmerman, one of Gawker’s most successful writers, says, “Stories that evoke very primal emotions seem to work best.” Some of the best angles to stir up feelings in readers include:

  • Inspirational – posts that encourage readers to get up and take an action, or those that speak of the beauties of life can hold peak potential for sharing.
  • Controversial – posts presenting arguments, debates or a firm stance in a controversial topic can trigger a sharing response.
  • Tragic – publications regarding sadness or suffering draw in readers’ hearts, enticing them to share and discuss with others.

Create these angles for your posts and you’ll move more people to share them. The more shares, the more views, and thus more people to share your stuff. Indeed, the key to getting your posts to go viral lies in the reader’s heart.

If there is no way to spin your post into a heartthrob, aim to make it an ageless piece. Topics like weight loss, travel and food will be around forever. Publications that can resonate with people over time have a potential to pick up steam even months after they’re originally released. Stories that are trending, on the other hand, only have a small window of time in which they are of interest. They definitely can go viral, but the chances of them doing so are lower.

Peak Posting Time

You can now create a winning post, but there are still key details you’ll need to know. If you really want your stuff to go viral, you’ll aim to publish during peak post-screening hours. The best time to post is around noon EST, because people on the east coast are lunching, while people on the west coast are just getting to the office but stalling before jumping into actual work duties. Don’t post while people are rushing to work or are in bed. No one will read it.

Now, as stated, there is no guarantee that a certain post will go viral. There is some aspect of luck involved, and sometimes even the best posts won’t make the circulation. Regardless, adding these little bits to your posts will certainly up the chances of your content reaching more readers.

The post How to Write a Post That Goes Viral appeared first on The Blog Herald.

Categories: Blogging News

Top 8 Personal Finance Blogs You Should be Reading

personal-financeLet’s face it: Personal finance isn’t necessarily the buzziest or most popular industry on the web. While some industries have an easy time creating viral videos, cool infographics, and other creative pieces of content, personal finance has a subject matter that is a little bit less exciting. Still, even so-called “boring” industries have reasons to start a blog. For starters, a blog is a great way to improve your SEO by helping you get indexed more often, thus showing up on a search engine results page (SERP) more frequently.

Fortunately for us, some personal finance companies have managed to create a blog with interesting and engaging content. If you’ve been searching for a blog to learn more about personal finance but can’t find anything quality, check out some of these options below.

8 of the Best Personal Finance Blogs on the Web

The Popular Options

  1. Saving Advice

This is a great blog because it offers more than just your typical articles. They offer forum discussions, a ”Saving Money” daily tip, and a featured tool that you may want to use. They also have member blogs where you can publish your own articles and see the type of feedback and comments you get, which helps keep the blog interactive. Overall, it’s one of the best.

  1. Wise Bread

This is by far the most popular personal finance blog out there today. Although personal finance is just one small section of what the website has to offer, it has some of the more detailed and well-written articles on its blog compared to others. They update their content frequently and keep up with the latest trends, so you never have to worry about reading something outdated or incorrect. Between interviews and video, Wise Bread knows how blogging works.

  1. Money Crashers

This is another blog that publishes content very frequently and has an excellent portfolio under its belt. They let you know what content is popular each week and offer recommendations of what to read in case you’re visiting just for fun and need somewhere to start. They do cover a wide range of topics, so it’s crucial that you use their tabs listed at the top of the website to find the subjects you want (otherwise it’s easy to get overwhelmed here!).

  1. Money Ning

This blog has been one of the more popular blogs for several years, but it’s much simpler than the others discussed above. You visit the blog and you scroll down to see each piece of content. In other words, it is formatted much like a traditional blog as opposed to a newspaper or magazine website. There is great content here with great readership so there are always lots of comments to engage in. If you’re just looking for something interesting to read (as opposed to researching something specific), this is a good option for you.

  1. Mint Life

Mint Life is actually the blog of popular company and tool Mint.com. Mint.com is a tool and app that helps you manage your money and will do all of the organizing and categorizing for you if you have several accounts, so it’s safe to say they know their stuff. Although the blog might not be the main focus of this company, it’s constantly up to date and offers great pieces. It’s set up like a blog as opposed to a magazine style layout, so it’s easy to read and browse through quickly.

The Up-and-Coming Options

  1. Banking Sense

This is a much newer blog on the scene, but it is already making a name for itself with an array of great content and creative topics. The blog specifically mentions in its mission statement that it understands the wide spectrum of where people may be when it comes to understanding personal finance, so they try to have content for everyone. With categories broken up nicely, it’s easy to get around this blog and find what you want for any topic from bank accounts to insurance to investments.

  1. Daily Finance

This blog hasn’t gained much traction in the personal finance world yet, but I anticipate it will in the coming years because of its modern design and strategy toward blogging. This is a blog that actually creates great videos, which is something rare for a personal finance blog, and it keeps you up on the markets right there on the homepage. Daily Finance even pulls articles from around the web to offer the best possible information, so I see this one going far.

  1. Good Financial Cents

Jeff Rose, certified financial planner, the CEO of his own wealth management firm, and author, primarily runs this blog and likes to give his own opinions with his own personality. He gives real-world advice and makes you feel like he’s been there and he’s talking right with you, so it’s more of a personalize blog than many of the others. He also has a podcast to help connect with those on the go, so it seems that this blog will only grow in popularity. What this blog is lacking is several different perspectives being written on the blog, but that may come in the future. For now, he’s giving great advice.

Do you know of any other great personal finance blogs? What makes them so great? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: bloggingpro.com

The post Top 8 Personal Finance Blogs You Should be Reading appeared first on The Blog Herald.

Categories: Blogging News

Tag Maintenance: How to Keep Your Blog’s Tags Meaningful

If your blog is running on WordPress, you can organize your posts into two classifications: categories and tags. Categories are more subject based. For example, a cooking blog may sort posts by categories such as “Meat Dishes,” “Desserts” and “Breakfast Food.” It’s also useful for blogs with many different topics, such as an entertainment blog that may separate posts into categories like “Movies,” “Video Games” and “Music.” Categories typically have an impact on the structure and navigation of a site, especially since most WordPress themes automatically place links to a blog’s various categories on the header or sidebar.

On the other hand, if your blog offers an eclectic array of ever-changing content, then the more loosely defined — yet more flexible role of tags — may be most appealing. For example, a news blog that posts often about current events should use tags, since they allow for easy insertion of new topics that can appeal to readers and search engines alike. One example is BuzzFeed, which inserts a tag of a notable person’s name whenever they are mentioned in an article. Similar to hashtags on Twitter, tags are a great way for bloggers to benefit from the popularity of current events.

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If you opt to focus on tags, then it’s very important to link tags together and focus on creating tags based on keywords that matter most, such as names, locations, or specialized topics. Thousands of disassociated and cluttered tags can be a big detriment. Be sure to follow the tag maintenance tips below on how to keep your WordPress blog’s tags organized and effective: Read More

Categories: WordPress Tips

6 WordPress Plugins That Make Migration & Mass Content Creation Simple

There comes a time in every online marketer or website owner’s life when it’s time to move your website and find a new home. Whether it’s because of a poor performing  web host provider or rebranding to a new domain name. Migration can be a pain and without the right tools and knowledge it’s very easy to lose data and create a situation where your site is down and unavailable for days. Losing you potential revenue and visitors.

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Migration is oftentimes technical requiring you to backup and restore databases, move images and other files into their correct directory structures, move and reactivate plugins and widgets. It’s heavy stuff, especially if you have a site rich with thousands of articles and images. Read More

Categories: WordPress Plugins

BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, July 21, 2014

Job board highlightsI hope your Monday is off to a good start. Here’s something to help with that – the job board highlights from the past week.

Good luck!

Survival & Preparedness Article Writer

Are you a regular writer/blogger?

Do you know about:

– survival
– preparedness
– homesteading
– health and safety
– alternative energy
– long term food storage, canning and dehydration?

Then PrepperZine needs you.
Read More

Categories: Jobs

3 Habits That Will Make Writing Blog Posts Easier

On average, how long does it take you to write a blog post of, say, 500 words? On a good day, you might get one published – writing, adding images and links, and proofreading included – within an hour, maybe even less. On a bad day, especially if you do not have any topic in mind yet, it might take you double that time.

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If you make a living out of writing online, then you know very well the importance of being able to write content as quickly as possible without skimping on quality. That’s what this article is about – how to make writing content easier for you.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips

Content Topics and Ideas For Your Blog

There comes a time when it seems that you are out of ideas for your blog. Maybe you feel there isn’t anything going on in the world that you haven’t already covered, or you have run out of different ways to address the same content. This can be especially true if you are developing a mini niche site with a specific focus.

Content Ideas

Or maybe you’re thinking of starting a blog but aren’t sure if you have enough content ideas to build a full-fledged website out of your existing knowledge. Instead of wasting your time using a free blogging site such as WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Blogger to test the sustainability of managing a blog, you should do some keyword research, develop some general content themes, and plan ahead. This will save you the trouble of converting to a self-hosted site in the future.

Regardless of your situation, if you want to keep your blog fresh and constantly attracting new readership, you must tap into your creative side. The following content ideas may give you some inspiration for unique blog posts. Please note that the monthly search volume is specific to Google.

Money

Finances are always on everyone’s mind. Whether you write about making money, saving money, or ways to spend your money, you are guaranteed to bring in some traffic to your blog. Anything can be turned into an idea that has to do with money. This is a chance to be creative and try to come up with something that will fit right in with the tone of your blog.

  • Example Keyword: [How To Save Money]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 40,500
  • Competition: Low

Health

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Fitness and well-being are other topics that people constantly want more information about. If you know of a really effective workout regimen or diet, share it on your blog. People are often preoccupied with learning about new weight loss tricks, and you could help them figure out what works and what doesn’t. Do you have an easy home remedy for pimples, or a delicious low-carb recipe? Post about it in your next entry.

  • Example Keyword: [Home Remedies For Constipation]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 14,800
  • Competition: Low

Career or Education Advice

Employment or career/education advice is definitely a topic on which everyone can find common ground. The economy is rough and it’s not easy to find a job right now. If you are a successful employee or employer, why don’t you share your tips and help others land that perfect gig? There are all sorts of things on which you can give advice, including choosing a college or university, how to network, how to dress for an interview, navigating office politics, and negotiating a raise. Offering unique insights and knowledge, then marketing your post to other bloggers is a good way to increase traffic.

  • Example Keyword: [How To Change Careers]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 1,300
  • Competition: Low

Writing

Everyone needs to write, but not everyone can do it well. In some cases, your very readers are also blog owners struggling with their own writing skills and blog management. If you have some good ideas on how to become a better, more productive writer, other bloggers are going to appreciate your posts.

Good writers are driven to read about writing, not only so that they can relate to other writers, but also pick up some tips and tricks on refining their skills. If you tend to spend a lot of time proofreading other people’s work, perhaps there’s a niche there you need to tap into. Take advantage of your skills and share them with others. Maybe they’ll hire you as a freelance writer or editor for their blog.

In other cases, maybe your readers are potential bloggers considering starting a blog. Discuss the pros and cons of starting a blog, running an online business and resources that may help new bloggers. Your positive experiences managing a blog coupled with the mention of how easy it is to start one can encourage new bloggers to give it a shot.

  • Example Keyword: [How To Write A Book]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 27,100
  • Competition: High

Pets

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You ever notice how many views and social shares pictures or videos of cats get? It’s ridiculous. Animals are an appealing subject on the Internet, and people love to read cute stories about pets. Heartwarming stories about dogs, videos of funny cat antics and pictures of cute farm animals will increase the traffic of any site.

Record your pets interacting with each other or go to the zoo and snap some shots of elephants playing. You could also ask your readers to showcase photos of their own pets.

  • Example Keyword: [Cute Cat Pictures]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 6,600
  • Competition: Low

Psychology

Psychology is a growing interest in America. After multiple public shootings, school bullying, and an increase in violent crimes, mental health is a higher priority than ever. People want to read about everything from “how to stay positive” and “how to motivate yourself” to the best available MAO inhibitors to treat depression. As the number of readers diagnosed with anxiety and depression rise, so will the need to provide well-documented research for those in need.

  • Example Keyword: [How To Be Happy]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 33,100
  • Competition: Low

Breaking News

Unfortunately, we will always have crime, so whether you have tips to avoid identity theft or a unique take on the rise of school shootings, people are going to flock to your blog to read them. People would also be interested in reading subjective takes on natural disasters. Have you lost a home in a hurricane? Witnessed a building being leveled in an earthquake? Or maybe you live in a town that was ravished by a tornado? First-hand news stories are always popular, so share yours and it just might go viral.

  • Example Keyword: [Crime Rates By City]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 2,900
  • Competition: Low

Fashion

Clothing and fashion is an ever-changing industry, which means you will never run out of things to write about. Have you always been seen as a leader in fashion? Why not share your tips with the world? Know what types of clothing suit a certain body type? Are you familiar with chic styles? Write about it! Review the best comfortable dress shoes, or the least expensive accessories. This is an endless topic, so have fun exploring!

  • Example Keyword: [Spring 2014 Fashion Trends]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 8,100
  • Competition: Low

Lifestyle Changes

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Age is a very flexible topic. Anything can be discussed in reference to age, from ways to slow down the aging process to how to manage its effects on the brain. Have some good skin care tips or methods to improve your memory as you get older? Your readers probably want to learn about your personal experiences because they may be feeling the same effects.

  • Example Keyword: [Best Places To Retire]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 14,800
  • Competition: Medium

Holiday

Holiday blog posts are always popular. The good thing about using a holiday topic is that there is always an upcoming holiday right around the corner. From New Year’s resolutions to Christmas cookies, holiday posts are very trendy. Share gift-wrapping styles, delicious recipes and family traditions.

  • Example Keyword: [Best Black Friday Sales]
  • Average Monthly Searches in the US: 1,000
  • Competition: Low

How To Get Your Blog Posts Read

If you do invest a significant amount of time researching and writing your content, it is important that you do everything you can to get it read. That not only means promoting your blog and sharing your content on social networks, but making sure that when visitors do come to check out your work, your page design is optimized to encourage engagement.

Here are a few basic, but powerful tips anyone can implement easily to increase the number of people who actually read your blog.

  • Utilize headings (H2 and H3 tags, bolding), bullet points and lists to make your content easy to review and absorb.
  • Write in short sentences and paragraphs with simple words
  • Keep your posts between 800 and 1,500 words long, therefore allowing yourself enough space to adequately discuss a subject, but not so long that it discourages your readers
  • Use 2 or 3 images per page, preferably evenly spread out with the first one at the start of the article to grab the reader’s attention
  • Use “you” and “I” when writing to start a conversation and avoid boring or lecturing your readers
  • If you allow comments on your blog, ask a question at the end of your post to boost dialogue amongst community members
  • Pick an easy to read font, increase your font size, and maintain plenty of white space

What types of posts have resulted in the most traffic, social shares, or community interaction for your blog? And do you have any basic content layout and formatting suggestions you’d like to share?

The post Content Topics and Ideas For Your Blog appeared first on The Blog Herald.

Categories: Blogging News